Body worn video cameras will be made available to all police officers in Cheshire thanks to £387,000 funding approved by the county’s police and crime commissioner.
David Keane has agreed to fund the purchase of cameras for all frontline officers with the new equipment set to be in operation by the end of this year.
It follows the roll-out of the kit to firearms officers last year and Taser officers and football spotters earlier this month after an initial investment of £400,000.
Mr Keane said: “Body worn video is an invaluable addition to our officers’ kit and will improve the effectiveness of policing in Cheshire, helping us to provide a force fit for the future.
“We’ve already seen the benefits of the technology since it was introduced to firearms officers last year, and I’m pleased to fund the roll-out of the equipment for the entire force.
“The kit provides better protection for officers and an increased chance of prosecution for offenders with assaults on police officers and other people evidenced on camera.
“I also believe that the cameras will help to deter some crime and modify the behaviours of those being filmed, saving a great deal of time and money for both Cheshire Constabulary and the courts.”
The increased funding from the commissioner will see the kit made available to local police units, detectives and PCSOs who have completed training on how to operate the devices.
Officers will dock the device when they return to the station from their shift in a safe and secure manner and the footage is automatically stored on the force’s central records.
Superintendent Luke McDonnell, who is leading the roll-out, added: “This is an important step forward to give officers kit that will support them in their role.
“Body worn video significantly improves the opportunity for officers to gather good evidence, while feedback from other forces shows that their use promotes public reassurance, modifies people’s behaviour, prevents harm and often deters people from committing crime and anti-social behaviour.
“The high definition recordings from the video provide independent evidence that can improve the quality of prosecution material.”
The roll-out links to the commissioner’s police and crime plan objective to invest in technology and equipment that supports officers in our communities.